Subscribe: Africa Unchained
Preview: Africa Unchained

Emergent Africa

Inspired by George Ayittey's book 'Africa Unchained'.

Updated: 2017-12-13T11:18:22.231-05:00


China is right: The world doesn’t need Silicon Valley...Lessons for Africa


Vivek Wadhwa writes:
Ever since the Chinese Government banned Facebook in 2009, Mark Zuckerberg has been making annual trips there attempting to persuade its leaders to let his company back in. He learned Mandarin and jogged through the smog-filled streets of Beijing to show how much he loved the country. Facebook even created new tools to allow China to do something that goes against Facebook’s founding principles — censor content.

But the Chinese haven’t obliged. They saw no advantages in letting a foreign company dominate their technology industry. China also blocked Google, Twitter, and Netflix and raised enough obstacles to force Uber out...[more]

How DR Congo lost control of the fabric of its culture and economy #DRC


Lynsey Chutel writing in Quartz:
Lubumbashi, DR Congo

Positioning a stand at the entrance to one of Lubumbashi’s largest breweries is part entrepreneurial savvy, part defiance by Mwehu Kashala. Each day he sells mobile phone airtime vouchers under a large umbrella, displaying the disposable vouchers on a rickety table. It’s been his main source of income since he lost his job a decade ago from the textile factory that used to operate from the same large industrial complex that is now a brewery...[more]

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook


A Kauffman Foundation publication

Understanding Knowledge Dynamics and Scaling-up in Micro Enterprises in Otigba Market Cluster


Oluseye Jegede writing in OpenAir:
In part 1, I discussed our preliminary findings from 73 field interviews conducted by my team and I in the Otigba Market Cluster. Since then we have conducted an additional 123 interviews, making a total of 200 interviews in all. In this second post, I will discuss more on the kind of innovations in the cluster, how MSMEs in the cluster scale-up, and the impact of knowledge sharing on MSMEs’ innovativeness.

Bite Size Ballet featuring Kitty Phetla performing 'Rain must Fall'


From Joburg Ballet
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via the South African

Che Guevara in the Congo by Khalo Matabane on Indiegogo


On Indiegogo:
Che Guevara's attempt to start a revolution in the Congo and the CIA agent trying to catch him. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640">

Pentecostalism Is A Doctrine Of greed Which Is Destroying Critical Thinking By Ijabla Raymond


Ijabla Raymond writes:
Pentecostal Christianity has corrupted our way of living. The damage that Pentecostal pastors have caused with their exploitative sermons will take decades to undo. Right across the continent, their sermons have destroyed critical thinking and produced a generation of Africans who are magical thinkers. The corruption is pervasive. It is in government, our schools, businesses, in our homes and even in our universities - the seat of all learning and philosophy. It is everywhere...[more]

Rethinking politics in Africa - Andrew Mwenda


Andrew Mwenda writes:
There is a widespread assumption that presidents in Africa who rule for long do so out of personal greed for power. This accusation has been made against Robert Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 before he was forced to resign recently. It is also the accusation against President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as the ruling party seeks to amend the constitution and remove age limits so that he can run for the presidency in 2021. Yet when individual cases are examined closely, one finds the reality much more complex and nuanced. Let me illustrate...[more]

"Robber Goat": How Religion is Hampering Scientific Thinking in Africa


Leo Igwe writes:
Christianity and Islam only add to the existing superstitions in Africa, substituting or rebranding the magical narratives that already prevail there...[more]
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Nyege Nyege: East Africa's new wave


Over at Resident Advisor:
Electronic music is booming in East Africa, and a small collective based in Kampala is at the heart of it all. Aaron Coultate travelled to Uganda to hear their story...[more]

Europe in Africa: Could a new city state on a man-made island save refugee lives? #seasteading


Deborah Nicholls-Lee writing in City Metric:
image via
What if you could save the lives of thousands of refugees by offering them sanctuary – and a European passport – on a purpose-built island in the Mediterranean, complete with football stadium, business park and university? Panacea or dangerous dystopia, Europe in Africa is an idea which cannot be ignored.

“I’m an optimist by definition,” says Austrian architect, writer and socio-cultural map maker Theo Deutinger. Appalled by the relentless tragedies in the Mediterranean, as African migrants fail time and time again to find a safe passage to Europe, he began drafting a proposal for the shuttling of asylum seekers to a refugee republic on reclaimed land between Tunisia and Italy.

Plonking a traumatised diaspora on an isolated island may seem a surprising solution, but Deutinger believes that founding your own autonomous city state repairs many of the pitfalls of the current system...[more]

The Freedom of Though Report - #Nigeria


In Nigeria, approximately half of the population are Muslims, about 40 percent are Christians, and roughly 10 percent are of traditional indigenous religions or no religion. While the constitution guarantees religious freedom, the state endorses numerous anti-secular and theocratic policies. The government and non-state militia such as Boko Haram constantly violate the rights to freedom of thought and expression...[more]

"Until the day we Africans realize that we're on our own. We're going nowhere." - PLO Lumumba


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'Africa Beyond Aid' - by President Nana Akufo-Addo


src="" width="560" height="350" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true">'Africa Beyond Aid' - President Nana Akufo-Addo's vision for the continent

SÍDÍ ÌLÚJINLẸ̀, a Yoruba Film Adaptation of The Lion and The Jewel written by Wole Soyinka,


A new film by Tunde KELANI
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Africa is not poor - Joyce Banda


A conversation with Al Jazeera:
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Do Africans trust Chinese media?


Emeka Umejei writes:
The recent diplomatic spat between Botswana and China raised concerns beyond the diplomatic orbit. One of the issues that emerged from that spat is the perception of Chinese media by African governments. The Botswana-China diplomatic altercation may provide an insight into how governments in Africa view Chinese media. For instance, during the standoff the Botswana government cautioned some journalists visiting China to be wary of China’s democratic credentials, which, it noted, differs significantly from what obtains in the ‘free society’ that Botswana represents...[more]

Kasiva Mutua is fighting to make more space for women in percussion


From the TED Fellows Blog:
In October, Burundi banned all women from playing its renowned royal drums. Kenyan percussionist Kasiva Mutua says this is an indefensible step backwards...[more]

"We Need to get Away from the mindset of Dependency" - Nana Akufo-Addo (President of Ghana)


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She is King - A Movie


She is King:
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A talented young woman from a rural village travels to the "Big City" of Johannesburg, South Africa to become a Star. She lands a role in a musical play about Zulu Queen Mkabayi, Shaka's Aunt and searches for her identity as a Performer, a Zulu, a Woman and a Daughter. Will she be able to keep up with her more seasoned fellow performers, avoid the jealous machinations of the aging leading lady and survive the punishing rehearsal schedule to make it to opening night and shine like the star she is? "She is King" is a joyous celebration of Zulu culture in a glossy contemporary setting, showing off Joburg as the "Broadway of Africa"- IMDB

Why do so many Western Leftists defend Robert Mugabe?


Benjamin Fogel writing in Africa is a Country:
Why do so many Western Leftists feel the need to defend a counter-revolutionary, kleptocratic despot like Robert Mugabe? Is it because a country like Zimbabwe and its struggles only matters for them to score points against their interlocutors in the United States or Europe?
More here

These lost and found Somali tapes are now nominated for a Grammy award


Over at Quartz Abdi Latif Dahir reports:
width="100%" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="">It is an album that captures the melodious voices of prominent Somali singers like Hibo Nura, Nimo Jama, the Waberi troupe, and the Iftin Band, among others.

In it, they meditate on love, life, and a Somalia rising from the ashes of colonialism. The music, plaintive and treacly, is influenced by American funk and pop, features influences from Arab and Indian sounds, and instruments ranging from the short-neck lute oud, to the guitar and accordion.

And now, these songs, collated from lost tapes from the 1970s and collected into an album this year by the US-based Ostinato Records, has been nominated for a Grammy award...[more]

In #Ghana Educational experts call for strong partnership between industry and academia


Ghana News Agency reports:
Educational experts at a high level panel discussion organised by the Association of African Universities (AAU) have called for strong partnership between industry and academics to accelerate Ghana’s socioeconomic development.

The panellists said such a collaboration would enable universities get funding from industry, whereas industry gets the needed research from universities, while society on the other hand gets new products and technology.

They expressed the hope that a strong collaboration between industry and universities would help prepare graduating students adequately with the requisite skills for employment by industry...[more]